EDDC left out of coast erosion talks

A DISTRICT council says it is disappointed to have been left off an eight-page list of consultees to Defra s Coastal Change Policy discussions.

A DISTRICT council says it is "disappointed" to have been left off an eight-page list of consultees to Defra's Coastal Change Policy discussions.

The cross-government project is developing approaches to support communities facing the risk of coastal erosion and flooding in cases where properties, businesses and infrastructure are significantly impacted.

Although everyone from Action Mersey Estuary to Yorkshire Water has been consulted, East Devon District Council was left off the list.

It was only when Councillor Stuart Hughes brought it to the council's attention two weeks ago it was realised it was not included in the consultations.

Mr Hughes thought it was only fair the September 25 deadline for comments be extended to allow EDDC to address the issue.

He said: "I am really annoyed EDDC hasn't been consulted. It is unfair. When I heard about it I spoke to Mark Reilly (StreetScene), the officer responsible for doing the response, and he hadn't heard about it.

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"We are suffering more from coastal erosion than other places and it is important to make our points of view known."

An EDDC spokeswoman said: "EDDC is disappointed it was not included in the original list of consultees.

"Our offices are currently in discussion with DEFRA to consider how we might be involved in a meaningful way at this late stage.

"We are keen to ensure that, in future, we are given adequate notice of any such consultations which might affect our coastline."

Devon County Council was consulted. Its spokesman said it welcomed the chance to comment and was still drafting its response, to be agreed by members ahead of next Friday's deadline.